Germany's new zest

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A wine-trail route in Saxony allows tourists to visit vineyards and wineries. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Inbound tourists' favorite activities are sightseeing, dining, strolling and shopping, a GNTB survey finds.

People who enjoy travel and food tend to be young, educated urbanites with children and frequent users of the internet, especially social media, a global survey by the London-headquartered tech company GlobalWebIndex finds.

"Such surveys offer insights about our target travelers," Li says.

"At the same time, Germany's good global image is drawing more tourists."

Germany ranked No 1 on the 2017 Anholt-GfK Nation Brands Index and took second place in 2016.

The index measures the power and quality of 50 countries' "brand image" using six dimensions, including culture and tourism. It is released by the German market-research institute GfK SE and British independent-policy adviser Simon Anholt.

The Chinese recorded 2.85 million overnight stays last year, an increase of nearly 11 percent over the previous year, the Federal Statistical Office of Germany reports.

That figure only measures stays in accommodations with over 10 beds, including campsites with at least 10 pitches. It doesn't include Chinese who use such popular short-term rental platforms as Airbnb, Li explains.

"The official numbers of Chinese who travel to Germany have been rising substantially in recent years. They're expected to continue going up this year," she says.

Germany is working to further simplify visa procedures for Chinese.

"The visa-application process is often considered troublesome. But that's not true," says Maria Schaerli, who works in the visa section of the German embassy in Beijing.

The visa section's official website has been modified to make it easy to read, she says. It clarifies what type of documents different kinds of visitors, such as freelancers, should prepare for visa application.

The European country has 15 visa centers across China, including those in such lower-tier cities as Shandong's provincial capital, Jinan, and Hunan's provincial capital, Changsha.

This makes it easier for Chinese applicants to provide their biometric data for Schengen visas.

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